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Veep creator Armando Iannucci says he’s done mining President Donald Trump for political satire, while marvelling over his use of Twitter.
“I find it difficult to be funny about Trump, other than to analyze his language,” Iannucci said during a master class he delivered on Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival. Take Trump’s tweets, where the first three words are inevitably fine, before everything veers off-course.
“It’s like a plane taxiing and it’s fine, and then it takes off and does a loop-the-loop and then, at that time another plane is taking off, and then they crash and kill lots of people,” he said while in Toronto for the world premiere of his latest movie, The Death of Stalin.
Iannucci insisted finding the funny in Trump is complicated by the president being his own satirist. “Satire is taking what’s true, and then twisting it, and stretching and bending it around into an unusual shape. And that’s what he [Trump] does anyways, in any of his tweets,” he said.
The irony, Iannucci said, is late-night TV comics with research teams have become journalists during the Trump era. “Trump has said all this is fake news. So it’s comedians that say, ‘Okay, we’ll make you laugh by just presenting the facts,'” he said.
The British-born comic left Veep after four seasons in 2014, with David Mandel (Curb Your Enthusiasm) taking his place as showrunner. The acclaimed HBO comedy will end its run with a final seventh season in 2018, which is bittersweet for Iannucci as he’s pretty well done with Washington politics.
“For me, I find the current state of politics in Washington depressing. Thankfully other people can be funny about [Trump]. I feel I’ve said what I can about politics in D.C. in a comedic way,” he said.
The Death of Stalin, which stars Jeffrey Tambor and Steve Buscemi, sends up the Soviet dictator and the fawning ministers who competed for power after his sudden demise.
“If anything, the [Death of Stalin] movie is about reminding you that democracy is not something that, once we have it, we have it forever, and it’s permanent and rigid,” Iannucci added.
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